A 23-month old boy who was found unresponsive with his twin sister in a Sydney pool has passed away, just two days after his twin sister lost her life.
Robbie Manago and his sister Charli were only out of his parents’ sight for a short time when they managed to find their way into the family’s backyard pool in Sydney’s north west, which reports say met all the necessary safety requirements.
It’s easy to condemn parents for negligence. Drowning tragedies are always punctuated by solemn warnings from law enforcement. “The message simply isn’t getting through,” TV journalists intone gravely.
As anyone who has small children knows, they can be out of your sight and in the direct line of danger in mere seconds. They’re so fast.
Reports say the twins had been eating ice cream on the deck of their house at 7PM on December 20 before the accident happened. One minute they were there. The next they were gone. Forever.
Their parents, Fleur and Robert, have four other children. It’s easy to see how a distraction could have drawn their attention away for mere moments in order for tragedy to strike.
The day after the twins were found, family friend Jill Johnston wrote a heartbreaking message on social media.
“Please now more than ever pray pray pray for a Christmas Miracle,” she wrote.
That miracle never came.
"Obviously at this time of year we urge people to very vigilant around swimming pools, maintain the security and keep an eye on the children," Chief Inspector Gary Sims said on the day of the accident.
"Whatever happens in seconds is a life-changing situation for the families, and you can't imagine the grief the family are going through."